Prospective associations between changes in mental health symptoms and health-related quality of life in veterans seeking posttraumatic stress disorder residential treatment
October 06, 2016
Sofko, C. A., Currier, J. M., & Drescher, K. D.
Anxiety, Stress, And Coping, 2016. 29(6), 630-643. doi:10.1080/10615806.2016.1157171
Background and Objectives: This study examined prospective associations between changes in mental health symptoms (posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], depression) and health-related quality of life (physical health, psychological well-being) for veterans with PTSD. Read more . . .
Design: This study focused on 139 patients who completed a residentialtreatment program for PTSD in the Veterans Health Administration.
Methods: Patients completed the veteran-specific, 12-item Medical Outcomes Study Short Form, PTSD Checklist - Military version, and Beck Depression Inventory at pre-treatment, discharge, and a four-month follow-up. When accounting for demographic factors, combat exposure, and baseline scores on the respective outcome variables (e.g. mental health, physical health, PTSD, and depressive symptoms), a series of multivariate analyses were conducted for treatment-related changes in mental and physical health on the outcome measures.
Results: Reductions in PTSD symptomatology during the treatment period were prospectively linked with better health-related outcomes at the four-month follow-up. In addition, improved physical health and psychological well-being during treatment were each similarly associated with betterPTSD and depression outcomes in the months following treatment.
Conclusions: Addressing concerns in mental and physical health might have synergistic effects across both domains, supporting the need for holistic models and integrated health care strategies for treating veterans with PTSD.